Welcome to our Phoenix Suns Season in Review series where we do individual PLAYER REVIEWS of each man that contributed in the 2022-23 season. We go through the roster to analyze what went right/wrong for them, and what they can do to get better for next season.
- Position: Shooting guard
- Vitals: 6’5” tall, 206 pounds, 26 years old
- Experience: 8 years
- Stats (regular season): 27.8 PPG, 5.5 APG, 4.5 RPG, 49.4 FG%, 35.1 3PT%, 85.5 FT%
Regular Season Recap
Booker’s season was one that occurred in three acts.
In the first act he came out and continued to display his amazing scoring ability. The three-time All-Star was deadly from the field, and efficient in doing so. Through his first 26 games of the season, Booker averaged 27.4 points on 47.8/37.5/86.6 splits. He scored 51 points against the Chicago Bulls, shooting 20-of-25 from the field and 6-of-7 from beyond the arc. And he did so only playing in three quarters of the game.
Lethal is the proper word I would use to describe his play. He earned the Player of the Month in November for his efforts.
But as Booker demonstrated his elite capabilities night after night, the wear and tear of carrying his team to a 16-10 record began to take it’s toll.
Enter act two.
Devin Booker’s output dropped as December began. With his slowed production came losses. He suffered a hamstring injury on December 9 against the New Orleans Pelicans, which sidelined him for a couple of games. He returned, dropped a season high 58 points against the Pelicans, then was out for three more games.
It is as if he was doing all he could to carry the team, but he physically couldn’t keep up. He needed help. He needed someone else to ease the burden of scoring each night. He returned on Christmas to play against the eventual NBA Champion Denver Nuggets, but 4:20 into the game he pulled his groin. Bah. Humbug.
He would sit out for 21 games as he nursed his injury.
Booker returned on February 7 against the Brooklyn Nets. Monty Williams eased him back into his minutes, and for his final 24 games of the season he averaged 28.5 points on 51.5/32.6/86 splits. He played 8 of those games with newly acquired Kevin Durant, which certainly assisted in easing his pain.
For those of us who watch Devin Booker night in and night out, we know how special he is. But when you watch a highlight reel of his accomplishments on the court, like the 8 minute clip below, it’s a reminder of his abilities.
Devin Booker quite simply may have put together the greatest postseason in Phoenix Suns history. I don’t like to operate in the extremes, but the stats alone are ridiculous.
His 33.7 points per game were the most by a Suns plays in franchise history. He shot 58.5% from the field. He shot 50.8% from deep. He averaged 7.2 assists. On the national stage, once again, Devin Booker showed he was the best guy on the court. You know, outside of that Joker fellow.
It is hard to find someone who possesses the same skillset as Booker relative to scoring. Jumpers, floaters, fadeaways, drives, dunks, layups. Right hand. Left hand. He is a master of his craft and continues to hone his abilities.
His lower body?
The soft tissue issue has hindered Devin Booker throughout his career. Thankfully, this past postseason it was not an issue. If the Suns can build a roster around him that relieves some of the scoring (I’m looking at you, Kevin Durant) he will not have to put such a strenuous workload upon himself. This can keep him fresh and ready for the postseason. And we’ve seen what he can do in the postseason. He’s one of the best in the NBA and we should be thankful he’s on our team.
- Entering the last year of his 5 year, $158M contract
- 2024-25 is when his supermax kicks in, which is 4 years for $224M.
Let’s give D Book a grade for the whole season, including the playoffs.
- Overall grade as an NBA player: A+
- Relative grade to preseason expectations: A
How do you grade Ish Wainright’s year, including playoffs?
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